French Gulch Road to Sallie Barber Mine, French Gulch Road Trailhead, Summit County - Eagle County - Clear Creek County, Colorado
French Gulch Road to Sallie Barber Mine - 5.6 miles
French Gulch Road Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||5.6 miles (2.9 roundtrip to the mine itself)|
|Start-End Elevation:||10,330' - 10,440' (10,728' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+110' net elevation gain (+655' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
French Gulch Road to Sallie Barber Mine - 5.6 Miles Round-Trip
The Sallie Barber Mine is located on the south rim of French Gulch on Barney Ford Hill. The Breckenridge Daily Journal claims the Sallie Barber Mine was established in 1880 by a group of Bald Mountain miners, while The Mining Directory of 1883 shows it was opened in 1882 by G.T. Metzger, a Breckenridge resident. Both accounts agree it was a small but long-time producer of zinc and other minerals, and an important part of Colorado's Gold Rush era. The mine site has multiple interpretive signs describing its occupational and operational history, and much of the original mining equipment is on display.
From the trailhead, follow French Gulch Road .1 miles north to a split for Sallie Barber Road - Marker 2651. Bear right downhill through the metal forest service gate, shortly past which the trail - now a groomed service road - crosses a creek, makes a hairpin turn north and climbs toward the mine. Snowcapped peaks to the west emerge through a healthy pine forest as you gain elevation. The trail itself is rather uneventful until cresting in a clearing at the Sallie Barber Mine and Historic Site (1.45 miles : 10,728').
Sensational panoramas from the site include Mineral Hill (10,891'), Brewery Hill (11,370'), Humbug Hill (11,031') and Farncomb Hill (11,337'). The trail continues past the mine, descending 1.35 miles through a mixed pine forest to the end of Sallie Barber Road (2.8 miles : 10,440').
- N39 29.181 W105 58.837 — 0.00 miles: French Gulch Trailhead
- N39 29.168 W105 58.744 — 0.1 miles: Bear right thru gate - Marker 2651
- N39 28.961 W105 59.166 — .75 miles: Hiking fire road thru forest
- N39 28.714 W105 59.786 — 1.45 miles: Sallie Barber Mine - max elevation 10,728'
- N39 28.649 W105 59.972 — 1.8 miles: Old wooden gate - stay straight on road
- N39 28.494 W106 00.911 — 2.8 miles: End of trail at Sallie Barber Road
- The Sallie Barber mine reportedly grossed $1,000 in 1899 from gold, lead, silver and zinc. It officially closed in 1911 due to transportation issues on the mountain, but briefly reopened during World War I to extract zinc.
- French Gulch played an integral role in the gold rush of greater Breckenridge. Tailings from the various mines can be seen on French Gulch Road on the way to the trailhead.
- Explore the mine site with caution and do not remove or alter artifacts.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Dispersed backcountry camping is allowed and NO permit is necessary - however, please contact the Dillon Ranger District at 970-468-5400 for weather conditions and closure information prior to planning your trip. They are open M - F from 8am - 4pm
- Fires are allowed for dispersed camping in the backcountry - during dry seasons, there may be seasonal restrictions - please contact the Dillon Ranger District during your trip planning
- For those not wishing to camp in the backcountry, there are several developed campgrounds within the White River National Forest. Contact the Dillon Ranger District for information on these sites.
- Fishing is permitted with a Colorado license.
Rules and Regulations
- Motorized and mechanized travel is restricted to designated routes
- Travel on foot and with livestock is allowed unless otherwise posted
- State certified weed-free forage is required on all National Forest lands - This includes hay, grain, straw, mulch and other feed products. Steam rolled grain or feed pellets one inch or less in diameter are allowed. Only processed feed is allowed within designated wilderness
- No private vehicles are allowed past the official French Gulch Road Trailhead sign
Directions to Trailhead
From Highway 9 in north Breckenridge, take Huron Road (CR 450) east for .4 miles and bear right onto Reiling Road. Take Reiling Road through the subdivision for .7 miles and turn left onto French Gulch Road (please drive slowly and watch for playing children). Take French Gulch Road for 2.6 miles to the clearly marked French Gulch Road Trailhead and parking area on your right. Of note: French Gulch Road eventually turns into a packed dirt road on its way to the trailhead. While the road continues past the official trailhead, only official vehicles are allowed past the trailhead.
White River National Forest
Dillon Ranger District
680 Blue River Parkway
Silverthorne, CO 80498